Leg number 10 – Local flight Durban-Capetown

December 4, 2012


We departed in time from a nearly empty airport. Though we promised our host Gary to fly over his house -knowing beforehand this would be nearly impossible- we failed to do this. We got vectors by ATC [Air Traffic Control] so no chance. Sorry Gary, hope to meet you next year in Amsterdam when you prepare for your six month river-channel tour in Europe.

Right after our departure we entered IMC [Instrument Meteorological Conditions, meaning no need to look outside since you see only clouds] and exceptionally these conditions stayed for more than two hours the same at FL260 [26.000′ or 8 km altitude]. Icing on the leading edges of the wings, lightning all around us, unpleasant flying. Once we could see something again, we had to deviate 20 degrees for a big big CB. Anyhow the weather radar would also have shown us this big monster. Nevertheless we were happy to be in such a superb a/c as the PC12NG. Thank you Pilatus Aircraft Factory. Thank you Fred Muggli, please pass it on to the others.

Capetown looked already quite nice from the air.

We taxied to a remote GA parkingplace at the airport, since this was our assignment and the gate to this spot was opened when we came close. We had to return and were reassigned to Executive Jet. A beautifull place with a modern hangar in which were already three PC12’s, so Pilatypus felt at home right away.

It would be the first time, and probably the last time as well, that Pilatypus would enjoy a hotel during this trip.

Magi awaited us, having arrived two days earlier, at Capetown.

Upon the recommendation of my nephew Michiel de Ru, Sophie booked us at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Hotel Belvedere in Locarno may look like a nice hotel, this one is more the style of a palace. Michiel we need to discuss the financial consequences of your recommendation one day. I suggest you prepare a decent compensation offer.

Capetown is a very nice but touristy place. Not hot, clean, fresh air. Some people speak Afrikaner and there are many names in the city just in Dutch. I even found a new name in case Spliethoff would decide one day to build another series of which the names start with a B: Buitengracht (2% for me Michel Fransen).

The port of Capetown was dominated, like Durban, with Maersk vessels. No activity of loading or unloading could though could be discovered. New container cranes arrived by a Chinese vessel and more to come (newspaper article). Same thing what happened in Amsterdam, though these cranes have meantime been flying out again.

It was a coïncidence to discover Grant Gordon’s project in the sailing port of Capetown.

secret preparation of Fever II by Grant Gordon for Cowes Week 2013

Upon request of Sonia Mayes we visited Helen Myburg, the wife of the diseased President of the Protest Committee of Cowes Week for many years, Geoff. It became quite an emotional visit for her. Also for me it was quite nice to talk about our (Boj and me) positive experiences with Geoff during our Protest Committee Duty time. Dear Helen: be proud of Geoff.

Today, our non-flying-day, we visited the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Unfortunately my iPhone refuses to send the photographs taken at the Yacht Club. We met a French-English couple who invited me to race with them the next day on their Archambault 35, the day we will fly to Namibia.

The Table Mountain (Tafelberg) preferred to stay hidden in clouds, nearly all day.

Table Mountain still in clouds…

finally we saw the Table Mountain

Lady Gaga gave a concert tonight in Capetown. The traffic in the city became a mess already at 5 pm.

Our tracker will not work anymore since Sierra-Echo failed to send a new one to Capetown. You will see each day a theoretical tracking, like the last two days already.

Will be continued with our flight to Namibia.

Post by Harry Heijst | December 4, 2012 |